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Sanders Takes Double-Digit Lead Over Rivals in Two National Polls ahead of Wednesday Debate

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders hosts a climate rally in Iowa City, Iowa, U.S. January 12, 2020. (Scott Morgan/Reuters)

Senator Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.) holds a double-digit lead over Democratic presidential rivals in a pair of new national polls, one conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, the other by ABC News and the Washington Post.

In the NBC/Journal poll Sanders received the support of 27 percent of Democratic primary voters, a number unchanged since the January edition of the same poll. Support for former vice president Joe Biden has plummeted from 26 percent to 15 percent. The results follow the disorganized Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary, in which Biden performed poorly and Sanders excelled.

Support rose for former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (14 percent, up five points), former South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg (13 percent, up six points) and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (7 percent, up two points). None of those candidates comes close to Sanders’s lead in the poll.

“There is one clear and inescapable set of results: Bernie Sanders is the definitive front-runner, and the current numbers do not represent his ceiling, but instead his base with room to grow,” commented Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who worked on the survey.

The ABC/WaPo poll showed Sanders with 32 percent of the national primary vote, surging 10 points since January. The same survey showed Biden dropping from 32 percent to 16 percent in February.

Bloomberg gained six points to reach 14 percent in February, while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren held steady at 12 percent.

Democratic candidates will hold a debate Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Nevada, ahead of the state’s caucus on February 22.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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